Augusta, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s seen as a plan that will make monumental changes to the way Augusta handles homelessness.
“What this plan will do will change Augusta forever, it will change the face of homelessness,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
The Homeless task force presenting far ranging recommendations to commissioners.
Last year the commission approved 3 million dollars in federal funds for a new shelter, but now the task force recommending those funds be reprogrammed to build 50 to 75 units of affordable housing, instead of the shelter.
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“When we’re talking about the best use of resources, we don’t think that best use of resources if you can permanently house someone and we have the dollars to do so we should definitely do so,” said Johnson who co-chaired the task force.
One of the strongest recommendations is for the commission to create a new position, a homeless resources coordinator, so, the recommendations get put into place and not placed on a shelf.
“We need somebody, whose job it is to bring these strategies forward, that is what happen with our last plan, it sort of fell apart because everybody went their separate ways,” said Task Force member Lynda Barrs
Commissioners seemed on board with the plan but understand these recommendations will not come cheap.
“In providing all these services is going to increase your operational costs, we have to be conscience of the services will provide and how much they cost,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams
Homelessness has been a problem for years in Augusta and solving it will not be easy, but the city now has a plan to take a step in that direction. in Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.